Fuji 23mm f1.4 vs 35mm f1.4

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
deednets Forum Pro • Posts: 11,458
Used both extensively: Fuji 23mm f1.4 vs 35mm f1.4 (full res examples)

GreenBeer wrote:

Yup, I know this thread is akin to another recent thread I made (one lens...)

However, before making my pocket cry by handin $900 to Amazon - I'd like to see what I'm getting with the 23mm.

Currently I have the 35mm 1.4 and it's the Jesus lens as far as I'm concerned. The quality of the images is outstanding (far above my ability as a photographer) and there's just something unique about the shots that stand out.

While I'm not a fan of this guys videos - because he doesn't compare apples to apples - if you watch:



You can clearly see which is the 35mm f1.4 when it comes up - it's just a mix of sharp focus, surreal bokeh and some kind of blending magic. Whereas the 23mm photos just appear very clinical.

So, what are the benefits of a 23mm?

- Full frame equivalent of 35mm - and all the lineage of the 'perfect story telling frame'

- Ability to stand much closer to my subject when doing non-posed environmental portraits (GF sitting at a bar drinking some tiki concoction. The 35mm would require for me to stand all the way across the bar.

Can any photographers who shoot with both lend some feedback regarding these two lenses. Is the magic of the 35mm f1.4 just all in my head? Does the 23mm match it? What are the pros cons?

Normally, would just buy and return it if I don't like it. But I leave in some far flung village overseas and I have to ship everything to California then wait 2 months for it to ship to me... So it's always a struggle to make right decisions before committing.


I have used both lenses extensively. Had 2 copies of the 23/1.4. Both were incredibly sharp have a look at this image:

100% crop:

In my opinion it doesn't get much sharper and more detailed than this! But, hey, what do I know aye??

Before I bought "into" the RX1 series (RX1, RX1R and now the RX1RII) I used the 23/1.4 often as my only lens. Here are some pics I took in 2014 (!!!??) with the X-E2. The images might still give you an idea as to how the 23/1.4 renders certain scenes:

.. and maybe some portraits?

A bit too wide to do true close ups in my opinion ...

Took some real close ups with the 35/1.4 though, some people here will see distortion that would rule this image out from any application, but since I am blissfully oblivious to those things I never culled this image:

Now regarding your trip: truth is that a lot of stuff would work, BUT ... when you look back in maybe 10 or 20 years time, it is often the detail that matters, not the total grandness of Tulum, but the isolated image of your girlfriend near the opera house in Guanajuato (or wherever ...) Cityscapes can be a bit of a yeah/nah thing in hindsight, but portraits - in particular the intimate type - will last for a lifetime.

So in short, let me throw this into the works for you after you got so much "get the 100-400/5.6" or the "brick", I would truly recommend to take the 35/1.4 no matter what ... that one lens you might regret to have left at home.

Here some shots taken with the 35/1.4, random locations:

As another little spanner in the mix: I could easily imagine taking the 14/2.8 plus the 35/1.4 on any trips I have ever done without missing much ...


 deednets's gear list:deednets's gear list
Sony RX1R II Fujifilm X-Pro3 Sony a7C Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R +9 more
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